Monday: Below the Fold

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, USAF has a critical pilot shortage, Putin and Xi pledge unity against the U.S., and more.

Cross-Examination

  • Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral: After lying in state at Westminster Hall since Wednesday, the funeral for Britain’s longest ruling monarch is today. The ceremony held in Westminster Abbey will be filled with the royal pageantry expected and required for the occasion. Of roughly 2,000 guests attending, there will be heads of state from across the globe including Joe Biden. The ceremony will mark the final act of the queen as the head of state, now replaced by her son, King Charles III. Typical of the British and the queen herself, the whole funeral will be quite a formal affair, as this event is less about her immediate family and more for the country. After her 70 years on the throne, royal author Duncan Larcombe observes: “There is something quite majestic and almost mystical about the fact that the British royal family not only still exists, but they appear to still be incredibly loved and incredibly relevant to British society. And no one could have really predicted that. I mean, that’s possibly one of the biggest achievements for Queen Elizabeth at this stage.”

  • USAF has a critical pilot shortage: One of the biggest problems with the woke agenda is that it prizes equity over and against equality. And when it comes to racial diversity, the ends justify the means, even if that proves to weaken America’s national security by negatively affecting U.S. military readiness. All the branches of the U.S. military have been struggling to meet recruitment goals. For the U.S Air Force, which celebrated its birthday just yesterday, that means a troubling pilot shortage. In 2021, the total Air Force was short 1,650 pilots, and that shortage is expected to grow. Unfortunately, the USAF’s woke mindset is only making matters worse, as leaders insist on fewer white male pilots. “Inside our cockpits is where we have the greatest disparities and opportunities for improvement,” said USAF recruiting head Major General Ed Thomas in late 2020. “In all, 86% of our aviators are white males. Less than 3% of our fighter pilots are females. This is why we established a detachment within the Air Force recruiting two years ago charged with improving diversity for those who wear flight suits. The mission of Detachment 1 is to bring a singular focus to recruiting qualified women and minorities who have not always felt they belonged.” To meet these diversity goals, the USAF has announced that it will reduce its number of white officers from 80% down to 67.5%. While that may be a winning formula for scoring woke accolades, focusing on sex and skin color is not a formula for winning wars. Or, evidently, recruiting pilots.

  • Putin and Xi pledge unity against the U.S.: At a summit last Thursday between the heads of Russia and China, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping expressed their intention to build stronger ties between the two nations, specifically to challenge the “threat” from the West. Speaking in euphemistically loaded language, Xi declared, “China is ready to work with Russia in extending strong support to each other on issues concerning their respective core interests.” He added, “In the face of historical changes in the world and times, as major countries, China is willing to work together with Russia to play a leading role and to inject stability into the turbulent world.” Of course, the leading contributors to the most recent turbulence in the world are both China and Russia. China is responsible for unleashing the COVID pandemic, and Putin launched his war against Ukraine. As the West has turned against him, raising severe economic sanctions and helping to arm the Ukrainians, Putin is apparently becoming increasingly desperate for international support. Xi’s willingness to publicly agree to get closer to Putin, especially as the war is going badly for him, signals that Xi is expecting a lot in return. Is it just oil? Retired Navy Captain Jim Fanell warned, “The larger strategic impact is that this new alliance represents a ‘two-front’ confrontation, or war, against the United States and its allies.” Downplaying this growing alliance between Russia and China “would be a deadly mistake,” Fanell noted. “It’s time for American leaders of all stripes to return to the Cold War standard of having the capability and capacity to support two major theater wars simultaneously.”

Headlines

  • Biden shocks White House by declaring “pandemic is over” (DW) | Biden claims he’s “growing the economy” while it continues to shrink (DW) | Biden says U.S. forces would defend Taiwan if China invaded (NR) | Biden on if he’s running again in 2024: “That remains to be seen,” no “firm decision” (Fox News)

  • Illegal immigrants get the boot after one day on Martha’s Vineyard (Free Beacon) | Obama, Martha’s Vineyard celebs silent on opening up island homes to illegal immigrants (Fox News) | “Just the beginning”: DeSantis pledges more shipments of migrants to blue-state locales (Washington Times)

  • The founder of Patagonia is giving his company away to help fight climate change get a sweet tax deal (NPR)

  • Josh Hawley got a Facebook exec to admit they censor constitutionally protected speech at the behest of the White House (Not the Bee)

  • Democrats are still out here firing people for not getting the jab: NYC is axing 850 more teachers and aides (Not the Bee)

  • Study finds veteran suicide 1.37 times greater than VA reports (DW)

  • Ontario high school defends trans teacher for wearing giant prosthetic bosom, because gender identity (Twitchy)

  • Policy: Here’s what a realist foreign policy requires to take on China (The Federalist)

  • “Satire”: Martha’s Vineyard lovingly welcomes immigrants to any other part of America (Babylon Bee)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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